Non-native birds appearing due to climate, feeders
Creating unnatural distribution of wildlife, says conservation biologist
More non-native birds are coming to P.E.I. because of the changing climate according to a conservation biologist with the province. Sightings of non-native birds — including the mourning dove, the sandhill crane, the yellow-throated warbler and mocking birds — are up said Rosemary Curley.
Curley said feeding birds also encourages the non-native birds to come to the island.
"You know, it's a rare thing and it's a beautiful thing. People obviously love feeding the birds and I do it myself. But, you know, are we contributing to an unnatural distribution of wildlife? I'd say we are, yeah," said Curley.
And some birds native to P.E.I. are leaving because it's too warm. They include the pine grosbeak, the boreal chickadee and the rusty blackbird.
"The gray Jay is one where we have a very small population of them in Kings County and through the black spruce country on the Morell and the Saint Peter's Bay drainage," said Curley.
"And these birds actually feed their young frozen meat in the winter time, so if the winters aren't warm enough to preserve that meat that they have stored, then you know their breeding success will be diminished. So that's a bird of concern."